Talk:Songs of the Century

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Songs (Rated List-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Songs, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of songs on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
 List  This article has been rated as List-Class on the quality scale.

moved here, where it belongs: ''to do

  • List by eras
  • Add links
  • Link back here from artists' and songs' pages

--b. Touch 17:29, 13 Nov 2004 (UTC)

This list DOES suck[edit]

Not that there are bad songs on the list. Quite the contrary, there probably isn't a bad song on the list. But, first of all, there should be nothing but American musicians on the list. Secondly, the voters clearly allowed themselves to be influenced by what was currently on the radio at the time. Songs like Tim McGraw' "Please Remember Me" were very popular for a short while, but will not be in any music history books and therefore do not belong on the list. Sorry Tim, they won't remember you. Thirdly, these are all top 40 radio hits. Certain genres, heavy metal for instance, are completely ignored. That might have something to do with the fact that only 200, 10% of those asked, took the time to bother to vote on the list. 200 people are supposed to represent every facet of American music culture? A 2 minute scan of the list reveals that this is far too small a sample. Perhaps if the survey had been conducted by a legitimate organization, instead of the comically self-righteous RIAA, more people would have bothered to vote and we would have gotten a list more representative of American music culture.


i agree, the song list is very telling of the average age of the respondents. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:58, 15 November 2009 (UTC)

I think Judy Garland's "Over The Rainbow" belongs at number one as it's the most beautiful song that ever was written and nobody sings it better than Miss Garland but I think Tony Bennett's recording of "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" definitely belongs at number two. His recording is truly beautiful. Landgar369 (talk) 21:44, 13 September 2017 (UTC)


No. 76 is missing All Along the watch tower is by Bob Dylan not jimi hendrix —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:19, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

Improving the article[edit]

Probably all the artists listed should be wikilinked-- any we don't have articles on yet, we ought to. Article should probably explain why particular artists/recordings were selected for each song (some songs were hits for multiple artists, and its not always obvious why the one on the list is the one chosen). -- Infrogmation 13:39, 27 Dec 2004 (UTC)

This neat list arranges the songs by decades and highlights the most voted song in each. Record labels and years are also available.

-- Bongbang, Dec 1, 2005

Missing Song[edit]

Happy Birthday To You wasn't a song of the century. I find that hard to believe I think they must of forgot it. And in that case I guess it should go last on the list.[1]


Man this list sucks[edit]

Virtually every song on this list is a safe entry, something the baby boomers can get into without risk of actually going out of the limited scope and boundaries they've utilized to have a stranglehold on American music since at least the early '70s. There is not a single song on this list that exemplifies the true, groundbreaking artistic spirit of the late '70s onward. It's all bland pap or recycled tidbits of others' creativity. And how laughable is it that "We Are The World" is on this list? That song is the worst charity single ever recorded and a sign that, in the '80s, all the real artistic wonderfulness was located in the United Kingdom ("Do They Know It's Christmas?" is a far superior song, one that's not even in the same stratosphere as that schlock-filled USA for Africa single). Krushsister 20:54, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

I too find many great songs missing (Red Red Wine), while many songs I don't care about included. That is why I noted in the article that RIAA did not disclose how the voters were selected, nor does this list agree with other lists. Musical tastes are very personal, I think any attempt to compile a list of "Greatest Songs" is kind of silly, as "Greatest" seems to imply an absolute standard that applies to all. Jayanta Sen 07:41, 24 June 2006 (UTC)
Fair enough. Thank you for your level-headed, rational response. Krushsister 23:24, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Sadly, there were only 200 respondents to the poll. And the idea that "elected officials, teachers, and students" were the bulk of the polled didn't bode well. That said, the Top 3 are hard to argue with, things go haywire after that.--Son of Somebody 03:09, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
Notice that "Over the rainbow" a song that is hardly embedded or influential in American Culture is #1, while the first Muddy Waters song is 200 something. The first Rolling Stones song is Start Me Up which was a later song, after their popularity had died down somewhat. Over all this list is equal to what comes out of a horses... well nevermind, this is wikipedia. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:29, 3 January 2008 (UTC)


Only just found this. An eclectic mix certainly, but I find it amazing that a group of people like this can come up with this list to represent "America’s musical and cultural heritage". It starts to fall apart with No. 15 (German); goes into nosedive with 16, 28, 30, 44, 53, 56, 118, 146, 167, 194, 200, 212, 296, 306, 322, 325 (British), loses the plot with 120 (Irish) and 131 (Northern Irish), admits defeat with 148 (Swedish,) 329 (Italian opera) and finally collapses entirely with 73 (old Scots), denying any right to a resurrection with Ave Maria at 90. All these claimed as part of America's culture? There's imperialism for you. Emeraude 14:54, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

I presume it is saying that it is part of "America’s musical and cultural heritage" in the sense of being well known, loved, &/or particularly influential in American culture, rather than claiming it necessarily originated there. Much as some people might consider tea to be part of British culture, even though tea is not commercially grown in the UK. Cheers, -- Infrogmation 17:25, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
I'm sure you're right - I was being slightly facetious. Emeraude 09:51, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
Regardless of who wrote/played these songs, the list is very telling from a psychological perspective. It says a lot about the average American's image of America. A phych 101 professor could lecture for weeks on this material.
On a side note, I notice that the list isn't overflowing with Rap, Hip Hop, or RnB.
perfectblue 19:58, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
Correct and there are even further examples of songs on the list that are not of the countries you mentioned. We'll regardless, should this fact be mentioned? What I mean is, although it is America's most 100 songs of the century, should something be mentioned about how a large number of them aren't American? Canking 01:06, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

Huh? "It says a lot about what the average Americans image of America"? Wha? No, I'm not slamming you as an individual but I can only assume that yourself and the respondents to your comment missed the fact that this was a poll of only 200 people and selected by the music industry itself that also happened to be marketing a collection of these very songs around the same time. Why is this even a notable entry? (talk) 07:40, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

Lacking in Current?[edit]

I hav estimated almost 75% of this list is music from the earlier half of the century, and the most influential songs are not at the front. For example, house of the Rising Sun, the song that shaped Rock and Roll into the 60's and 70's and inspired the extensive genres of Rock today is not found near the top of the list. This list lacks in songs that people actually listen too, and i cant really say "Over the Rainbow" should even be on this list. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Well, "The House of the Rising Sun" quite likely predates the 20th century. Hm, but that didn't seem to stop "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" from getting on the list. I dunno. -- Infrogmation (talk) 22:24, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

A prime example why good taste is so rare[edit]

"YMCA" by the Village People is on the list. "Funny How Time Slips Away" is not. I wonder if they saved the ballots.

Because if you think about, this song came out about 1960. There was 40% of the twentieth century left. Was there a single year among those 40 that some artist did not cover the song? I would wager not. It was continuously covered by artists from all genres of music for the last 40 years of the twentieth century. This slight is unimportant, because they will probably still be playing the song in the 22nd century, when the others have been forgotten.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:13, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

This is not notable[edit]

This was a marketing campaign from 2001 and released in 2002 by the RIAA. I have seen many references to the Nat'l Endowment of Arts sponsorship of this but it appears they only stamped their name on it. Only 200 people were polled. Less than 2,000 were even asked. The NEA does not have any details available for public review and the RIAA was also marketing collections of these songs the same year.

Is this minor marketing campaign a notable incident worthy of encyclopedic content or is it an attempt to further the title of the "study"? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:50, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

I would have to agree that this list is not notable. Ugh. Patricia Meadows (talk) 05:39, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

I believe this list is culturally biased.[edit]

To List "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" as the most influential song of the century shows, what I believe to be, cultural bias.

There is an intense connection with the gay community and "Somewhere Over the Rainbow". As musicologists know, this Judy Garland tune is literally the anthem for the homosexual community. Many sociologists even credit the song for being the inspiration behind the "gay flag" which is the colors of the rainbow.

Since homosexual culture is not the predominant culture in America (or, more important, of the century), this list & results must be invalidated.

This is not a slam on the gay community; this is a simple observation presented from a subjective point of view. Honestly, I don't think 200 selected people from narrow parameters like the RIAA & NEA could conceivably capture the best songs of the century - homosexual or not.

~~Grimsbah~~ — Preceding unsigned comment added by Grimsbah (talkcontribs) 04:04, 8 December 2010 (UTC)

  • The list is of course one group's opinion, as the article clearly says. The list is of interest to some people, hence it is the topic of an article. You (like everyone else) are free to have a different opinion, perspective, or cultural bias. That doesn't mean "this list & results must be invalidated.". You might have the opinion and even make a good argument that some other beauty contest contestant was better looking and more talented than the one who the group of pageant judges chose as "Miss America", but that wouldn't mean that the Miss America contest "must be invalidated". It is what it is, no more and no less. -- Infrogmation (talk) 04:36, 8 December 2010 (UTC)

If that in fact is your argument, then this entry needs to be retitled to something more accurate like "Songs Of the Century Educational Project (2001)". To throw such a blanket proclamation is irresponsible at best & blatant misinformation at worst. Honestly, do you really want 200 random people dictating the taste of the entire American culture? I certainly don't. Grimsbah (talk) 22:28, 12 February 2012 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified one external link on Songs of the Century. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit User:Cyberpower678/FaQs#InternetArchiveBot*this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, please set the checked parameter below to true or failed to let others know (documentation at {{Sourcecheck}}).

YesY An editor has reviewed this edit and fixed any errors that were found.

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

If you are unable to use these tools, you may set |needhelp=<your help request> on this template to request help from an experienced user. Please include details about your problem, to help other editors.

Cheers.—cyberbot IITalk to my owner:Online 04:26, 4 June 2016 (UTC)